One-Punch Man Volume 18 has a strong focus on Garo, the hero hunter.
One-Punch Man Volume 18
Written by: ONE
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 3, 2019
The volume opens with an end times group saying that society should follow the Monster Association and offering regular sacrifices out of people who resist. Garo shows up and puts an end to it.
Garo finds himself starting to question things a little. First, it’s because of the world falling apart that there won’t be much of an impact if he makes a dramatic entrance as the strongest monster. Basically, the Monster Association is holding back and giving free reign to people who are all bluster.
We then get an amusing scene with Garo going to a restaurant and feeding his face… and it turns out Saitama is there as well. But Saitama doesn’t notice until after he eats that his wallet is missing. Blizzard shows up, trying to convince Saitama to join her group, but Saitama decides to order one more plate of food and have her eat some, he can stick her with the bill instead of dining and dashing. Garo ends up dining and dashing, and the paths of these two characters will later cross.
Garo has a run-in with Tareo, the kid who looks up to heroes and gets bullied by his peers. Garo saves the kid from some bullies. Garo keeps trying to get Tareo to go home, but he won’t leave. As two members of the Monster Association arrive and confront Garo about his lack of fitness to join their ranks, Garo finds himself torn between questioning if he’s truly a monster or not. There’s a fantastic fight scene between Garo, Insect God, and King The Ripper. In the end, Garo is knocked out, and Tareo is captured by the Monster Association.
Tareo is thrown into the same cell as Waganma, the spoiled rich kid that Metal Bat was trying to protect earlier in the series. Unfortunately, even in captivity, Waganma continues to act like a spoiled brat. He appears to have learned nothing from his earlier experiences.
Dr. Kuseno, the professor who designed Genos’ cybernetics, makes an appearance at Saitama’s apartment. There’s an amusing scene where Kuseno reveals through dialogue that Genos is Saitama’s disciple. Blizzard, who dropped by shortly before, gets quite the shock of her life upon hearing this.
Volume 19 has a great blend of action panels, comedy, and serious moments. But the stage is also being set for Garo to go through some evolution as a character. The seeds of the evolution have been planted in this volume, and I have a feeling that readers will continue to see Garo evolve as this arc continues. While we do get some important scenes with the Monster Association, this volume focuses more on Garo’s story than on anything else.
I’m very curious to see how Garo’s character arc will progress over the course of the next volume. Although I’m also hoping to see some progression with the overall arc as well, especially when it comes to the Monster Association.